Added Sugar Is Not So Sweet
Some sugars are naturally in fruits, vegetables, milk and grains. Other sugars – the kind added to foods, drinks and condiments during processing – may increase heart disease risk. Eating a lot of added sugar is one probable cause of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. It’s also linked to increased risks for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and inflammation in the body.
A typical 12-ounce can of regular soda has 130 calories and 8 teaspoons of sugar. Added sugar also sneaks into seemingly “better for you” beverages, such as sports drinks, fruit drinks and flavored milks.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 100 calories a day (6 teaspoons) for most women and no more than 150 calories a day (9 teaspoons) for most men.
Added Sugar Sources: Sugar-sweetened beverages are the biggest source of added sugar in the American diet. Other sources are baked items (like cakes, muffins, cookies and pies), ice cream and candy.
Find It: Read food labels. Syrup, molasses, cane juice and fruit juice concentrate mean added sugar, as well as most ingredients ending with the letters “ose” (like fructose and dextrose).
- Enjoy fruit for dessert most days and limit traditional desserts to special occasions.
- Cut back on the amount of sugar you add to things you eat or drink often.
- Buy 100% juice with no added sugars.
- Enhance foods with spices – try cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger.
- Add fresh or dried fruit to cereal and oatmeal.
- Drink sparkling water, unsweetened tea or sugar-free beverages.
For more tips on healthy eating, cooking and recipes:
Simple Cooking with Heart